Latest posts by Colton Jones (see all)
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A sore right elbow has J.R. Smith’s status for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season opener Wednesday night in Toronto very much in doubt.
The team announced it in a press release Tuesday:
“Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has experienced soreness in his right elbow recently. Smith is undergoing treatment to address the elbow. He will travel with the team to Toronto this afternoon and is currently listed as doubtful for tomorrow night’s game in Toronto. His status will be updated as appropriate prior to tomorrow night’s game.”
Smith underwent an MRI on Monday. It showed no structural damage.
The runup to Game 1 not has been one of good health for Smith.
He did not participate in the Wine and Gold Scrimmage in Dayton nor the preseason opener against the Boston Celtics because of a sore hip.
Upon his return for the second preseason game, also against Boston, Smith promptly had a dustup with Boston’s Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart, which resulted in Smith being fined $15,000.
One of only four holdovers from the Cavaliers’ NBA championship season of 2016, Smith is coming off arguably the worst season of his career.
The 33-year-old averaged 8.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.1 minutes in 80 games (61 starts), shooting 41.9 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from deep and 69.6 percent from the free-throw line.
Smith’s mental error in the closing seconds of regulation may have very well cost the Cavaliers Game 1 of the Finals against eventual champion Golden State.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Smith was the 18th overall pick of the 2004 NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets.
When he’s physically able, Smith will be beginning his 14th season in the league.